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How important are linguistic factors in word skipping during reading?

By Denis Drieghe, Timothy Desmet and Marc Brysbaert


The probability of skipping a word is influenced by its processing ease. For instance, a word that is predictable from the preceding context is skipped more often than an unpredictable word. A meta-analysis of studies examining this predictability effect reported effect sizes ranging from 0 to 13%, with an average of 8%. One study does not fit within this picture and reported 23% more skipping of Dutch pronouns in sentences in which the pronoun had no disambiguating value (e.g. ‘Mary was envious of Helen because she never looked so good’) than in sentences where it did have a disambiguating value (e.g. ‘Mary was envious of Albert because she never looked so good’). We re-examined this ambiguity in Dutch using a task that more closely resembles normal reading and observed only a 9% difference in skipping of the pronoun, bringing this linguistic effect in line with the other findings

Topics: BF
Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.soton.ac.uk:144833
Provided by: e-Prints Soton

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